Lessons on Aging and Retirement
MANILA, Philippines - What would you do if you found yourself in a place that fits your idea of hell? Most likely, you would try to find a way out. But what if there is no way out? And even if there is one, what if the door only leads you to anaother hell?
This is one of the questions raised by the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film is about seven British retirees who, in their sunset years, travel to India hoping to rebuild their dilapidated lives. They find instead a dilapidated hotel in a chaotic city whose sight, sound, and smell assault them at every turn. When Muriel (played by the legendary Maggie Smith) was asked how she feels about the hotel, she acidly retorts: "Words fail me." Shock, dread, and anger so overwhelm her that she can hardly give a decent answer. Later she cries: "I'm in hell!"
But to all their complaints and whining, the irrepressible hotel manager has this to say: "Everything will be all right in the end. So, if things are not all right, it is not yet the end."
I saw the film for the first time while aboard a plane. The entertainment menu contained box office hits like The Hunger Games and The Ghost Protocol but I intentionally chose The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, hoping it would lull me to sleep.
Big mistake. The movie is so engrossing I watched it five times during the whole flight, taking a break only when I went to the restroom or when meals were served. …